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Scientific Research Results of Deer Antler Velvet

by Ryan Carmody

While the remarkable healing properties of deer antler velvet have been known for over 2,000 years, only recently has scientific evidence documented its amazing array of benefits. From accelerated tissue repair and rapid wound healing to increases in strength and stamina, Western medicine has now confirmed which components in deer antler velvet are responsible for these healing benefits, and many others.

Validating age old wisdom with modern day science is always a fun endeavor

Almost 250 papers have been published since 1930 on the manufacture, composition and biochemical effect of deer antler velvet extract, with results consistently showing benefits in number of areas. Scientific studies by Dr. Peter Fennessy of the Invermay Research Center in pncOtago, New Zealand revealed high amounts of the natural growth hormone factor Insulin-like Growth Factor-1, or IGF-1, which is known to promote cell growth. The high amounts of IGF-1, along with IGF-2, a related growth hormone, help explain the rapid growth cycle of antlers. While analyzing the medical properties of deer antler velvet, Dr Fennessy also found anti-tumor and anti-viral effects.

The Cartilage Factor

A high percentage of deer antler velvet is cartilaginous, or made up of cartilage. More than 35 years ago Dr. John F. Prudden discovered n-acetyl-glucosamine was present in cartilage. N-acetyl-glucosamine is known for accelerated wound healing. Cartilage also contains glycosaminoglycans, which help rebuild and maintain healthy cartilage.

Chondroitin Sulfate A was also discovered to be present in deer antler velvet. Dr. Lester Morrison demonstrated the anti-inflammatory and circulation improving effects of Chondroitin Sulfate A, which was also shown to reverse atherosclerosis. A six year study by Dr. Morrison found that Chondroitin Sulfate A reduces the incidence of fatal heart attacks and strokes by more than 400%!

Russian Research

Russian doctors have been studying the effects of deer antler velvet for decades. Dr. Arkady Koltun, M.D., PhD, chairman of the medical committee for the Russian Bodybuilding Federation found an increase in muscular strength and an increase in the speed of nerve transmission from deer antler velvet enhancing myosin, the contractile protein in muscle fiber. The ability of deer antler velvet to speed up recovery after exercise was also seen by Dr. Koltun.

Other Russian doctors have demonstrated increases in strength, stamina, and performance from deer antler velvet. In 1964, Dr. Taney, another Russian scientist, showed that the mental capacity of young men improved dramatically shortly after consuming velvet deer antler.


One of the most important discoveries shows deer antler velvet’s ability to modulate the immune system. Dr. Arthur Johnson of the University of Minnesota in Duluth discovered that cartilage contains a small molecular weight protein, and that this protein has the unique ability to modulate the immune system. Immune modulators boost up your immune system if it’s under active, or calm it down if over active.

The scientific evidence surrounding deer antler velvet is pretty impressive, and this is just a sampling. With deer antler velvet’s popularity and use increasing in the West there are sure to be more studies validating the myriad health benefits associated with this remarkable substance.

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